Date of Award:

12-2022

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Psychology

Committee Chair(s)

Tyler Renshaw

Committee

Tyler Renshaw

Committee

Michael Levin

Committee

Gregory Callan

Abstract

The current study attempted to further psychological flexibility literature by validating the Multidimensional Psychological Flexibility Inventory (MPFI) with a sample of adolescents (ages 16 and 17). This analysis also examined how the MPFI associates with other indicators of psychological flexibility, distress (depression, anxiety, somatic symptom severity and related distress, difficulties in emotion regulation) and well-being (subjective happiness, life satisfaction, self-compassion, emotional approach coping).

Results from this study suggested that psychological inflexibility as measured by the MPFI positively associated with a number of measures of distress, but generally did not inversely correlate with measures of well-being in a theoretically-consistent manner, which was contradictory to our hypotheses. Similarly, the MPFI’s psychological flexibility scales positively associated with measures of well-being but did not inversely correlate with measures of distress. More in-depth correlational analysis involved identifying specific subscales within the MPFI that demonstrated significant associations with measures of psychological distress and well-being. In this area, the aforementioned pattern generally continued where theoretically-consistent positive associations were evident between most MPFI flexibility and inflexibility subscales and subsequent measures of well-being and distress, but theoretically-consistent negative associations were not apparent. Given that other validation examinations with the MPFI have demonstrated both positive and negative correlations with measures of distress and wellbeing (Rolffs et al., 2018), these findings stand in contrast to these results, which might suggest that the MPFI performs differently with adolescent samples than with adults. Future research is needed to determine if such differences are a function of the present sample, the administration method, or true differences in how psychological inflexibility and flexibility relate to other psychological variables in adolescents.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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